The cultural dances of Armenia are varied and have a complex history, originating in the Armenian Highlands (otherwise known as the Anatolian plain in present day Turkey). These dances have survived despite war, diaspora, and genoicide. The strong cultural pride of the Armenian people has helped them hold onto these ancient dances, piecing them back together in a new way: a reflection of perseverance of the Armenian spirit.
The Armenian dances we perform take root in traditional dances such as Kochari, Papuri, and Shavali, and blend them with Naz Bar (graceful dance) of the natural movements of the dove, swan, crane, reed grass or flowering cherry trees. Kochari dance is centuries old and was initially done in preparation for war. Danced in a line that turns into a circular formation to the right it promotes unity, community, strength and good fortune. Papuri (which comes from the word papara that means to crush) is characterized by stomping and clapping movements danced in a circular motion traveling to the right (traveling left symbolizes ill-luck or somberness). This signifies ridding the space of negative energy and uniting people against evil. Shavali is a traditional dance usually performed at weddings and is a beautiful compliment to our Mom Bar (Candle Dance).
Our costumes take inspiration from traditional Armenian garb and infuse glamour and elegance into our couture designs. They are all handmade and unique, a beautiful representation of village dances meets modern day. Combined with the choreographic skills of concert dance, our Armenian dances create breathtaking and exciting celebratory pieces that are perfect for weddings, birthdays, adoption celebrations and cultural festivals.
Sources: Arara, Lauren Shannon